Thomopoulos Lab Publish Article in Science Advances

Members of the Thomopoulos Lab at Columbia Orthopedics published an article in Science Advances. The article, “Primary cilia as the nexus of biophysical and hedgehog signaling at the tendon enthesis,” hypothesized that primary cilium is a hub for transducing biophysical and hedgehog (Hh) signals to regulate the formation and adaption of tendon enthesis - a fibrocartilaginous tissue critical for transfer of muscle forces to bone and prone to injury - to loading.

The article; authored by Stavros Thomopoulos, PhD, postdoctoral fellow Fei Fang, PhD, and outside researchers tested the hypothesis using tendon enthesis–specific mouse models and controlled functional and mechanical loading environments in mice.

“Muscle loading and hedgehog signaling are necessary for the formation and maintenance of the tendon enthesis,” said Dr. Thomopoulos. “Using mouse models, we showed that cilia, microscopic sensory antennae on cells, are the critical transducers of these signals.”

The study showed that the creation and function of tendon enthesis are determined by primary cilium-dependent biophysical and Hh signaling. The research provided rationale for cilia as a central regulator of mechanoresponsiveness and Hh signaling in the tendon enthesis, thus creating a therapeutic target for tendon and enthesis pathologies.

“The identification of cilia as central to tendon enthesis responsiveness reveals a novel therapeutic target for a wide range of tendinopathies and enthesopathies,” said Dr. Thomopoulos.

Read the full article here.